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Review: All My Sons, at Old Vic Theatre

02 May, 2019 — By Sipora Levy

Sally Field and Colin Morgan in All My Sons. Photo: Johan Persson

HOT on the heels of The American Clock, the Old Vic presents Arthur Miller’s first Broadway hit.

Written in 1947, it is hugely relevant today, dealing as it does with the conflict between self-interest and social responsibility.

It stars Hollywood actors Bill Pullman as Joe Keller, and Sally Field as his wife Kate, a couple burdened with guilt and pretence. They are trying to live the “American dream”, but it has turned into a nightmare.

Joe is a successful businessman who avoided a wartime charge of issuing defective cylinder heads to combat planes by allowing his partner to take the blame.

Shockingly, he is faced with the consequence of his actions when his son Larry goes missing in action.

Kate is convinced that Larry is still alive, mainly because if she accepts the inevitable, she will have to acknowledge that Joe was responsible for Larry’s death.

To complicate matters their other son, Chris (an intense performance by Colin Morgan) intends to marry Larry’s fiancée Ann (Jenna Coleman), much to his parents’ distress.

This is a fine and mostly well-acted production, directed by Jeremy Herrin though, surprisingly, Pullman is muted in a role that demands more power and charisma.

Sally Field is magnificent as the matriarch, desperate to preserve her family’s web of delusion and lies, but also deeply vulnerable as she attempts to bottle up her grief.

A moving and thought-provoking evening.

Until June 8
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